FOR the past four years, Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School failed to get the top spot in the annual Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, until yesterday.
The school’s contingent defeated six other groups in the elementary division.
Apas National High School also emerged victorious, besting seven other contingents in the secondary level, including last year’s champion Abellana National School.
Apas placed second during last year’s Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan.
In yesterday’s activity held at the Cebu City Sports Center, the 100 dancers of Don Vicente wowed the judges with their ants costume, which was patterned after the animated adventure film “Antz.”
They opened their presentation with the ants emerging from their colony. Some of them were hoarding food. Then the flood came. With the help of Señor Sto. Niño, the ants survived the calamity.
Using many colorful props to go with their fast-paced movement, the dancers celebrated the protection given to them by the Holy Child Jesus.
In an interview, the contingent’s choreographer, Rolly Layola, said he decided to use the ants concept to make their presentation unique. He said that ants, like people, also prepare for calamities.
“Di ba naa may giingon nga lihok tawo, tabangan ka sa Ginoo (There’s this saying that God helps those who help themselves?” he said.
Layola said the victory was a first for the school.
He said they will introduce improvements in their dance routine in preparation for the Sinulog Grand Parade on Jan. 18.
As for Apas, they earned the top spot with their simple dance routine and synchronized movements.
The group’s choreographer Venancio Esparaguera said they did not expect to win, considering they only started practicing during the Christmas break.
“Our concept is praising the Sto. Niño through different sets of prayers, from the old ones up to the present. Our routine is simple ra gyud tungod sa kagamay sa panahon (We had limited time to practice),” he said.
As grand champion in yesterday’s Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, Apas and Don Vicente school earned P300,000.
Other winners in the secondary level are Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. Memorial National High School (2nd, P150,000), Abellana National School (3rd, P100,000), Talamban National High School (4th, P75,000) and Pasil Night High School (5th, P50,000).
The best in musicality (P50,000) was awarded to Don Sergio school while the best in costume (P50,000) was given to Apas.
For the street dancing, the first place went to Don Sergio (P50,000) followed by Apas (P30,000) and Talamban (P20,000).
Other winners in the elementary level are Mabolo Elementary School (2nd, P150,000), Cebu City Central School (3rd, P100,000), Labangon Elementary School (4th, P75,000) and Carreta Elementary School (5th, P50,000).
Mabolo won as best in musicality (P50,000) while Don Vicente won best in costume (P50,000).
For the street dancing, Mabolo won first place (P50,000) followed by Labangon (P30,000) and Bulacao Community School (P20,000).
Winners of yesterday’s Sinulog sa Kabataan automatically earns a slot in the Sinulog Grand Parade.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said this year’s Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan and the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan was the best competition they have so far as contingents introduced new concepts.
“Aside from the concept, the contingents came up with new musicality. They created a lot of new sounds. The musicians are also dancing. Costume-wise, it was also good. This year is the best so far,” he said.
The Sinulog sa Kabataan was witnessed by at least 15,000 spectators at the grandstand of the sports center.